A work visa allows you to work in New Zealand for a limited amount of time. You can apply for a work visa before travelling to New Zealand. A work visa granted offshore will allow you to travel to the New Zealand border. When you arrive, an immigration officer will check that you meet all the conditions of your visa to be granted entry permission to work in New Zealand.
A work visa will state the expiry date of your visa, the expiry date of your travel conditions (if you have any), and the conditions of your visa. The conditions may include:
• The type of employment
• The employer’s name
• Where in New Zealand you can work.
There are some kinds of work that we do not consider to be employment under immigration instructions. You may undertake these activities while holding a visitor visa. You will only have to get a work visa if there is a time limit on the activity you are engaged in, and you need to be in New Zealand for a longer period. These are the activities that we do not consider to be employment.
• Representation on an official trade mission recognised by the New Zealand Government
• Employment as a sales representative of an overseas company in New Zealand for a period or periods no longer than a total of three months in any calendar year.
• Activity in New Zealand as an overseas buyer of New Zealand goods or services for a period or periods no longer than a total of three months in any calendar year.
• Official business in the service of any government, or of any inter-governmental or international organisation that is entitled to any privileges and immunities under the Diplomatic Privileges and Immunities Act 1968.
• Business consultations or negotiations in New Zealand on establishing, expanding, or winding up any business enterprise in New Zealand, or carrying on any business in New Zealand, involving the authorised representatives of any overseas company, body or person for a period or periods no longer than a total of three months in any calendar year.
• Study or training under a scholarship or other award recognised by the Minister of Immigration.
You cannot include anyone else on your application form. If your partner, your children, your parent/legal guardian, or anyone else will accompany you to New Zealand, they must apply separately for the type of visa they need.
Some work instructions specify the duration that visas can be granted for, others are linked to the duration of your offer of employment. If no maximum stay is specified in the information on specific instructions, work visas can be granted for a maximum stay of three years. The exception to this is visas for highly skilled people granted under Essential Skills Instructions, which can be for a maximum duration of five years. If your work visa is nearing expiry, you can apply for a further visa. There is no limit on the number of further visas you may obtain, however the requirements of the instructions that you apply under must continue to be met. For some instructions (such as Essential Skills Work Instructions), this may include a labour market check to find out whether any New Zealand citizens or residence class visa holders have become available to take up the position for which you are applying for a work visa.
If you are going to work or open a bank account in New Zealand you will need an IRD number for tax purposes. This is administered by Inland Revenue: you can download an IRD number application form (IR595) from www.ird.govt.nz [keyword IR595]. The form has information on what supporting documentation you need to provide.